Random Acts of School Improvement
Will Never Help ALL Teachers
Learn, Grow, and Excel
The reason for this statement is simple. Random acts are not goal driven. They're feeling driven. In order to help educators grow in their craft, we must first have a system that identifies where educators are in their proficiency, a structure to help each teacher set targeted and specific goals for growth, and a support system of professional learning to help them attain their goals. Without this foundation, school improvement initiatives will be haphazard, based on the latest craze, or which ever way the educational winds blow.
Here's the reality.
We would never be random or unpredictable in our approach to helping kids grow in their learning. We would have a roadmap (curriculum) to guide us toward our goal. We would create instruction that is aligned to that curriculum which would include best practices to move our students down the road we call student success, and we would systematically design formative assessments to gauge our progress towards reaching our goal of all students learning at high levels. Furthermore, we would create support systems when students "break down" on their journey, so that we can provide those students targeted instructional supports to get them back on the road to their destination.
So Shouldn't We Do This for Educators?
Well absolutely we should, but in many cases we don't. The reason is simple. As leaders, we are so focused on students, that we often overlook the people that actually impact kids, teachers; therefore we throw professional development at them rather than taking an intentional and focused approach to ensure that every teacher learns based on their needs, not our random whims. We make assumptions that they aren't learners because their teachers, and therefore don't need the same targeted instruction, and prescriptive supports to address their areas for growth that we would provide for students. The fact is this. Educators are learners too, and the deserve learning that is intentional, purposeful, and ultimately effective in helping them grow by leaps and bounds.
How Can We End Random Acts of Improvement?
In my podcast with Dr. Chris Weber, I explain the reason why schools must create instruction, intervention and support systems for teachers in the exact same way that create them for students and I outline why we leaders need a guide to ensure that Excellence in Every Classroom isn't a hope. It's a plan. Hope you'll give it a listen.